The myth of tax ‘competition’

One of the fallacies that I’m sick of hearing is that countries should compete on tax. Well, that’s an awful idea.

The main reason is that people are not supposed to question the taxes that they pay. The right to question is conditional on the payment of the correct amount of tax.

It is therefore paradoxically illogical to question The State’s right to stipulate what taxes should be. The State’s discretion in this matter is unconditional and absolute.

But the idea that people move country to improve their economic outcomes is a nonsense. This myth is propagated by the bloody Irish, of course.

Real people want to stay exactly where they are forever, live in the same house, work exactly the same job (but with above inflation pay rises year on year) or if the government of the day cannot provide them with a job then allow The State to care for them through benefits (but with above inflation increases year on year).

Yes, only the neoliberal rich, the Irish, the Poles, the Chinese, the Eastern Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, South Americans, Africans other than South Africans, Asians and a few other minorities ever move for economic reasons.

But, even then, tax isn’t an economic reason at all. As I have argued at length in my book The Joy of Being a Tax Expert, available at a reasonable price off Amazon, tax is a moral issue and only a moral issue.

If you look at tax as a financial consideration, you would also have to consider the value for money provided by those taxes, such as the education of the population, the quality of free healthcare, infrastructure, regulatory and administrative burdens imposed by The State, the level of freedom that you would enjoy on living there, and so on.

And, as world class as we are in those departments, rich neoliberals only think about the tax they pay.


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